#17 Washington 4, #42 Louisville 1

Senior Daniel Chu rallied for a three set victory over Damar Johnson to give the 17th ranked Washington men's tennis team a hard fought 4-1 win over 42nd ranked Louisville at the Great Northwest Shootout at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

Playing at the second position, Johnson easily won the first set 6-2, but Chu came back to win the second 7-6, prevailing 7-5 in a tiebreak. The two held serve throughout the second set, ultimately forcing the tiebreak. Chu led 3-1 and 4-2, and had three set points at 6-3. Johnson came up with a pair of clutch service winners to cut Chu's lead to 6-5, but Chu converted his third opportunity with a forehand overhead smash.

In the third set, Chu got the only service break in the fifth game, taking a 3-2 lead and ensuring a Husky win as long as he could hold serve. He did just that, eventually winning 6-4 and clinching the match with an emphatic hold at love. In the final game he hit two service winners, a forehand volley winner and then won the final point with a terrific backhand stab volley

The Huskies and Cardinals began the match with doubles, with the Huskies winning the point. The Husky pair of Patrik Fischer and Mike Ricks demolished Pablo Camacho and Chris Herrlinger 8-1 at the second position. They won seven games before the Cardinals finally got on the board.

Washington had to work considerably harder at the third position. Chu and Derek Drabble went up a service break and led 4-2 before the Cardinals' Ben Clos and David Simon picked up their games. The Cardinal duo began hitting winners on serve, from the baseline and at the net, rallying to win three straight games and go up 5-4. However, that lead would not last long, as the Huskies came right back to win three straight games of their own and go up 7-5. Drabble held serve at love for 5 all.

Then the Huskies took the lead for good at 6-5 when they broke Clos. Chu held serve for 7-5, forcing Simon to serve to extend the match. Simon had a match point against his serve at 30-40, but an errant backhand by Drabble tied the game at deuce and Simon eventually held. Drabble then served for the Huskies and faced a break point that would have given Louisville a 7-7 tie, but Chu came up with a forehand volley winner to bring the game back to deuce. Drabble then came up with a backhand volley winner to give the Huskies their second match point, and this time he converted, putting the Cardinals away with a forehand overhead smash.

When play shifted to singles, the Huskies quickly took a 3-0 lead. Fischer beat Herrlinger 6-2, 6-2 at the sixth position and Andy Kuharszky followed with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Simon at the third position. Slavko Radman earned Louisville's only point of the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alex Slovic in the top match.

Fortunately for the Huskies, Chu delivered the clincher because the remaining singles at the fourth and fifth positions went to decisive third sets. When play got halted, at four Drabble was tied with Robert Rotaru at 4-4 in the third set after Rotaru won the first 7-6(4) and Drabble the second 6-4. At five, David Chu was tied with Horatiu Oltean at 1 in the final set after Chu won the first 6-3 and Oltean the second 6-4.

With the win the Huskies improved to 5-1 and next face 56th ranked Texas Tech at 2 p.m. for the championship of the round robin Great Northwest Shootout on Sunday, February 11 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Both teams enter the match with 2-0 records. The Huskies beat Middle Tennessee State 4-0 on Friday, February 9, while Texas Tech beat Louisville 4-1 on Friday and Middle Tennessee State 4-1 on Saturday.

The Huskies then resume their seven match homestand when they face the Portland Pilots on Friday, February 16 at 4 p.m.

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